Britain’s Evans leads Argentina Rally

Britain's Elfyn Evans took the lead in the Argentina Rally in his Ford Fiesta on Friday with a 56-second lead after a series of specials on rocky, pebbly terrain."A really positive day. We can be happy for the whole team," the 28-year-old Welshman said...

Kyrgios out of Estoril after grandfather’s death

Australia's Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Estoril claycourt tournament on Friday following the death of his grandfather, the world number 16 announced on Twitter.Kyrgios, who was due to be top seed at the Portuguese event starting on Monday, said he w...

Mexico economy survives Trump’s first 100 days

The Mexican economy has fared better than expected under the uncertainty caused by US President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, with GDP up 0.6 percent in the first quarter.The gross domestic product growth, announced Friday by the Mexican Ins...

US NSA spy agency halts controversial email sweep

The National Security Agency announced Friday it would end its controversial practice of sweeping up any email or text message an American exchanges with someone overseas that makes reference to a real target of NSA surveillance.The powerful US spy age...

North Korea test-fires ballistic missile: Yonhap

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from an area north of Pyongyang Saturday, a news agency report said, as the United States pushed for tougher sanctions to curb the country's nuclear threat."North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a sit...

Last-gasp Atalanta snatch point from wasteful Juve

Swiss midfielder Remo Freuler bundled a timely leveller past Gianluigi Buffon at the death to grab a deserved share of the spoils for Atalanta in a 2-2 draw with Juventus on Friday.A great diving header from Dani Alves looked to have secured the three ...

Rio Olympic rematches spice Drake Relays

Reigning Olympic champions Omar McLeod, Derek Drouin and Christian Taylor will risk their bragging rights Saturday in "Rio Rematches" to highlight the 108th Drake Relays at Des Moines, Iowa.Jamaica's McLeod will face 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt...

Car bomb blast kills three in central Baghdad: medics

A car bomb attack on a traffic police compound in central Baghdad Friday killed at least three people and wounded seven, security and medical sources said.The blast took place in Karrada, a neighbourhood that has been repeatedly targeted in recent year...

Sharapova is bookies’ French Open favourite

Maria Sharapova was installed as the bookmakers' joint favourite to capture the French Open on Friday despite the Russian star not even being guaranteed a place in the season's second Grand Slam event.Sharapova only returned to action in Stuttgart this...

US Versus World showdowns highlight Penn Relays

A stellar lineup featuring three champions from last weekend's World Relays and two more Rio Olympic winners will lead the United States against global rivals at Saturday's 123rd Penn Relays.Spotlight events at the meeting at Philadelphia's Franklin Fi...

Briton gets 30 years for French jogger’s murder

A British man was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a French court on Friday for the horrific 2013 murder of a young mother out jogging.The court in the southern city of Nimes also ruled that 36-year-old Robert Plant should not be eligible for parole ...

Macron banishes pro-Kremlin media from campaign trail

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron's campaign has banished Russia Today and Sputnik, denying them accreditation after the candidate's team said the pro-Kremlin outlets publish misleading information.A spokesman for Macron confirmed to AFP ...

In new Gorillaz album, dark political vision comes true

Creating the latest album of his virtual band Gorillaz, Damon Albarn had what he considered a dark, sci-fi vision -- Donald Trump as president of the United States. Then it came true.

"I wanted to make a kind of science fiction record. But more a social fiction, sort of anticipation," said the Britpop icon best known as the frontman of Blur.

"There were several options and I chose the worst case scenario," he told AFP over a meal on a visit to Paris. "I wanted to make a social fiction record, but reality hit."

Gorillaz has been an outlet for Albarn's more experimental side, breaking free from guitar pop to explore trippy, futuristic sounds. Created in 2001, Gorillaz is a virtual band with four fictional members -- 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle.

The real-life, but behind-the-scenes, members are Albarn and the comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, who has matched the music with an elaborate visual representation that includes cartoon videos.

Preparing "Humanz," the group's fifth album which came out on Friday, Albarn started in 2015 by imagining the United States ruled by Trump, then considered a reality television celebrity with little chance of landing the world's most powerful job.

"I did not believe Trump would be president, but I wanted to imagine what would happen," Albarn said.

- 'Joyful and painful' -

Albarn reached out for American voices to create the album, including Mavis Staples, the classic R&B singer and civil rights activist, as well as hip-hop pioneers De La Soul, the rapper Pusha T and the innovative R&B artist Kelela.

With an underlying chaos that evokes the film scores of Ennio Morricone, of whom Albarn is an admirer, "Humanz" also has songs co-written by artists ranging from electronic legend Jean-Michel Jarre to fellow Britpop star Noel Gallagher.

"I kinda wanted it to be something urgent, and joyful and painful at the same time," Albarn said of the album, which transformed into an exploration of the reaction to Trump's shock victory.

"Hallelujah Money," a trip-hop-infused single with the powerful voice of Mercury Prize-winning singer Benjamin Clementine, attacks the power of money without naming the president directly, although the video showed an elevator in a representation of his Trump Tower home.

The song gives way to an antidote in the album's final track, "We Got the Power," a call to love and unity.

"It's a simple answer, I know, but it is probably the truth, especially now," Albarn said of the closing song.

"You know I can't resent the people who made this choice," he said, referring both to supporters of Trump and, in his own country, the narrow majority that voted to pull Britain from the European Union.

- 'You're gonna be dead' -

Albarn is passionate when discussing Brexit, saying, "You can't imagine how depressing it is for us."

"It's hard to express how angry I am," he said.

"People who voted Brexit, as with American people who voted for Trump, are people who don't travel," he said. "They're blind! Genuinely blind! They genuinely think that closing borders and becoming nationalistic is a really good idea."

"I don't want the next generations to grow up having less access to the world," he said. "We're a little island. A little island must be open."

"The people who voted for this are the old. What are you doing? Voting for your grandchildren's future? You're gonna be dead in 10 years! Dead!"

His anger subsided as he gazed down at a plate that had just been put in front of him. On it were two soft-boiled eggs surrounded by slices of smoked salmon on a bed of arugula.

"I have never seen eggs presented like that in my life. Have you?" he said with a laugh.

"It's quite artistic -- science fiction," he said. "I should have stated a story with that."

Paltrow brings ‘Goop’ to print with Conde Nast

Actress and lifestyle maven Gwyneth Paltrow announced Friday she is launching a print magazine based on her style website Goop with publishing group Conde Nast.A statement from the US publishing group said Goop would launch as a quarterly magazine in S...